Winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. "Wonderfully written...populated by vivid characters and rendered in fascinating detail." —Nancy Kline, New York Times Book Review
Kidnapped from Africa as a child, Aminata Diallo is enslaved in South Carolina but escapes during the chaos of the Revolutionary War. In Manhattan she becomes a scribe for the British, recording the names of blacks who have served the King and earned their freedom in Nova Scotia. But the hardship and prejudice of the new colony prompt her to follow her heart back to Africa, then on to London, where she bears witness to the injustices of slavery and its toll on her life and a whole people. It is a story that no listener, and no reader, will ever forget.
Published in Canada as The Book of Negroes and the basis for the award-winning BET miniseries of the same name.
Stunning, wrenching and inspiring, the fourth novel by Canadian novelist Hill (Any Known Blood) spans the life of Aminata Diallo, born in Bayo, West Africa, in 1745. The novel opens in 1802, as Aminata is wooed in London to the cause of British abolitionists, and begins reflecting on her life. Kidnapped at the age of 11 by British slavers, Aminata survives the Middle Passage and is reunited in South Carolina with Chekura, a boy from a village near hers. Her story gets entwined with his, and with those of her owners: nasty indigo producer Robinson Appleby and, later, Jewish duty inspector Solomon Lindo. During her long life of struggle, she does what she can to free herself and others from slavery, including learning to read and teaching others to, and befriending anyone who can help her, black or white. Hill handles the pacing and tension masterfully, particularly during the beginnings of the American revolution, when the British promise to free Blacks who fight for the British: Aminata's related, eventful travels to Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone follow. In depicting a woman who survives history's most trying conditions through force of intelligence and personality, Hill's book is a harrowing, breathtaking tour de force.
I got the audiobook and basically couldn’t turn it off til the end cause I had to know things would turn out ok. Very highly recommend
Someone Knows My Name: A novel
This is a spellbinding novel about a child who was kidnapped in Africa, put aboard a slave ship and transported to Sullivan’s Island, just outside of Charleston. Her travels continue to Nova Scotia, Sierra Leone, back to the interior or Africa and ending in London. It tells of her many experiences and hardships all along the way and her strong spirit to never give up. In the end, she gains her freedom and works with abolitionists in London to try to ban slave trading. Even though she endures many hardships, her strong spirit makes you want to continue on the journey with her to the very end. It is an outstanding novel!